04/21/2012 11:41AM

2012 Kentucky Derby: Desormeaux eyes a 4th Derby win with Dullahan

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Blue Grass Stakes winner Dullahan is "as live as they come," said jockey Kent Desormeaux.

LOUISVILLE. Ky. - Kent Desormeaux has had two Kentucky Derby rides since he won the race for the third time in 2008 with favored Big Brown, those mounts being Hold Me Back (12th at 12-1 in 2009) and Paddy O’Prado (third at 12-1 in 2010). The 42-year-old Hall of Fame jockey said he strongly believes his mount in the upcoming Derby, Dullahan, is as “live as they come” and that he would be greatly humbled if he were to join revered company by winning a fourth Derby.

“I am truly very excited about the opportunity, especially the type of horse that he is,” said Desormeaux, who guided Dullahan from well back to a 1 1/4-length triumph over Hansen last weekend in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Both Desormeaux and Calvin Borel, who will ride Take Charge Indy in the 138th Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs, have a chance to join Bill Shoemaker as the only jockeys to win the Derby four times. Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack share the record with five wins each.

“Any Derby is incredible,” said Desormeaux. “That number is exciting, but just to win the Derby is hard to put into words. It’s actually why I’m still riding, to win the Derby again.”

Desormeaux noted that Dullahan ran the last three furlongs in the Blue Grass in about 35 seconds, and “he’s not going to get beat very often if he keeps doing that. It was scintillating.”

He added that in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall at Churchill, Dullahan “missed the start, so I’d like to see if we can leave the gate on even terms this time.”

Desormeaux will be joined at the Derby by his 19-year-old son, Joshua, but that his other son, 13-year-old Jacob, will have to stay home in Sierra Madre, Calif., with his mother, Sonia, Desormeaux’s ex-wife. Jacob suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as Usher syndrome but “is doing good right now,” said his father. “Everything is static.”

Justin More than 1 year ago
both dullahans lifetime wins have been at keenland. both times he got a hot pace to run at . not saying hes a horse for the course but hes raced 8 times. i was more impressed hansen hung on as well as he did
Kevin Hui More than 1 year ago
Same here, if you know the answers, post it!! Maybe a breathing problem or the horse swallows his tongue.
timothy More than 1 year ago
I'm a little worried about Dullahan - watch the replay of the Bluegrass and watch how quickly the horse pulls up after the race, doesn't even make it to the curve. Never a good sign.
paul cervenan More than 1 year ago
The horse does not gallop out in his win in the Blue Grass and now he's going to get Kent Desormeaux his Fourth Derby? You gotta be joking? Where are you space cadets from? I am afraid it will be more like Big Brown in the Belmont, DNF.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
This horse has a great shot at the derby. The connections have made perfect decisions with him. He can run on dirt and proved that at CD ran 4th in the BCJ. I hope he gets overlooked. Going to get a great pace to run at. Only thing for me Im not big fan of jock but he ran so easily by Hansen and looked like he could of ran another mile. I'll be using him.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Sadly, no chance. Sorry, Dale. Not this time.
Robert More than 1 year ago
Jerry said Dullahan is training better than ever on the dirt and is ready to go!
Ayo Smitty More than 1 year ago
Here's a horse who has done ALL his damage either on turf or synthetics.I think he's way overrated
Beatrice Shidebuckle More than 1 year ago
My Lord,with the speed that will be in the derby this year,Dullahan will get some of my money...
R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
I think Dullahan could have a chance to win the Derby if someone else ride him, Desormeaux is off form, I never did like him as a rider anyway.